Blank GUI Central

This will never make it into the issues forum and I fear will be very difficult to fix.

It’s too hard to reproduce from one DAW to the next, one project to the next and even one session to the next.

I’ll just say this:

For years, Cubase and various plugins from various developers, continue to have problems with blank GUIs when projects get big or even slightly large.

By blank GUI I mean either not showing any GUI (not opening), not showing the VST in the instrument slot, or opening but showing white or blank areas of the UI.

It never happens in a blank project.

It always happens without warning.

I’m not talking about crashes, freezes, lockups or anything that generates an error dialog.

It always allows the user to continue working. If there are any internal failures, errors or crashes, they’re completely silent.

It almost always allows some, but not all, plugins to open their GUIs and therefore makes it seem like it’s the “offending” GUI’s fault. Sometimes it is the plugin’s fault, sometimes it’s not.

It never happens with stock plugins.

It seems to happen with VST2 more than VST3.

It’s always fixable by going on a track and plugin deleting rampage, which one can only assume removes some kind of resource-sensitive issue that blocks the GUI.

It’s happened to me across many different computer builds, versions of Windows, video cards and drivers.

It’s maddening and we need to get this figured out once and for all in 2015.

I’m going to start documenting, here on this thread, every time it happens.

Please join in and let’s see if you can find some commonalities. Be sure to list your system specs (if not in your sig.) and as much detail as you can.

please provide a complete list of the suspect plugs so others can try or at least be warned of potenial issues thank you.


I was about to follow up with some, but the plugin I was certain was the culprit (Hive) seems not to be. Many others were also not showing their GUI (yet some were).

The problem seems less about the plugins and more about Cubase because it always gets resolved by removing or sometimes powering off instances.



might be the issue discussed in these posts / threads:


Thanks so much, Fabio. This gives me a new direction to explore. I shall report back.

(Yes, once the issue returns, I’ll get those dumps for analysis to you.)

You are welcome. I could analyse your dumps, surely I still have some regarding that issue to check against yours.

The problem is back and halting my project, once again.

This time, it appears to be all Waves Plugins and several iZotope that will not load or open in this project.

I think I’m ready for that dump analyzing, Fabio.

I also started a support ticket.

Thanks in advance!

If you search you will find that a lot of users have had trouble with Waves plugins in Cubase 8.
What does the support at Waves say?

They gave up after about an hour of being remoted-in to my DAW and trying everything they could think of.

All other plugins were loading fine.

Just when I thought we both agreed it was a Waves issue, he told me to try loading iZotope plugins, which also didn’t load. At that point the blame was put squarely on Cubase and the call ended.

I’m not convinced, either way.

Cubase’s fault or not, I’m about ready to switch DAWs (again), just to finish this :imp: song. :laughing:

I’m at a fork in the road with Cubase and need advice. Do I stay with Cubase and give up some of my favorite plugins?

Here’s my current list of effect plugins that will often not open on very large 9GB projects (not including any v. instruments yet):

“often” meaning that at least once during a session they will not open, thus forcing me to choose an alternative plugin or remove other plugins (that are in use) and hope it creates an environment where it would load. Many plugins at the same issue-showing moment in time will always open (and therefore won’t be listed here).

Often won’t open in large Cubase projects:

All Waves plugins (r25)
All Softube plugins
All iZotope plugins

(Still testing and will update this list silently without a forum “bump.”)

I find it hard to believe the latest Waves and Software builds are not written in a 100% 64-bit fashion. So the “4GB issue” (see links by Fabio above) seems like it wouldn’t apply. But I suppose it’s possible.

I’ve pretty much given up any hope that Cubase will accommodate being large (10GB range) and work with all my plugins.

So I’m at a fork in the road (a long road). Do I continue with Cubase and simply write off thousands of dollars of my favorite plugins? Essentially, use them at the beginning of the project when they’ll load and then abandon using them once they won’t (and shift to other plugins that will)?

Or move to a different DAW, recreate this large project and hope it works?

What I won’t do is reduce the size of the project; its live buss count and plugins on those busses. So it’s gonna be around a 10GB project and I’m not willing to change that by bouncing group channels. I’m already bouncing each instrument channel after each tweak. Only one channel is active at any point in time. The powered-down VSTs still use memory, however. And I’m not going to delete those tracks and save the track preset. I make too many tweaks, continually, for that to be a tolerable workflow.

Obviously, if it turns out more plugins become randomly afflicted, then I’ll have to leave Cubase.

But right now the picture seems to be contained to Waves and Softube – that I care about most on the list.

To make this decision harder, I have the full CMC series surface controller lineup and it’s become muscle memory for me. I would be heartbroken to give that up.

Fork in the road…

Also, please, “Waves and Softube work fine here” won’t be helpful to me. They work fine here, too, at the beginning of the project. And they’ll even work, albeit intermittently, later in the project. It’s hit or miss once it reaches a certain point.

At some point, after you’ve tried everything, you have to cut your losses and move on. Clearly, I’m at that point, I just don’t know what to cut.

Jalcide I can appreciate your issues and frustration having spent nearly two weeks fettling a new computer.

I do have a few questions?
Are you using VST3 plugins?
Are you using 32 bit plugins?
Are you maxing (or close to) your memory?

I know that u-he has recommended for the time being that only the VST2 plugins be used. There was a long post on KVR about the difficulty they had writing the code for VST3. I have heard talk that some developers have not written the graphics coding as well as they could.

I am having an issue with Positive Grid’s Bias. All I get is the image of the plugin with the rotating wheel of death - no crash but the plugin works, but I cannot edit. I get a half blank screen with Linplug’s Spectral - although if I toggle the GUI on and off it sometimes comes back.

The memory issue was one that affected me and the reason for upgrading my computer. I was getting a lot of blank GUI’s on some of my larger projects. Just a thought.Bear in mind that a 12 gig project also has to deal with system memory etc.

I don’t run any 32 bit plugins now as they only work with JBridge - and I can’t be bothered.

With regard to moving to a new DAW I guess it is a case of out of the frying pan and into the fire. My feeling is that you will only exchange one set of issues for another. Steinberg will get this right eventually and Cubase will be all the better for it. I have tried a number of other DAWS and not been that impressed to be honest. Funnily the one I hated most was Logic when helping a friend with an project followed closely by Pro Tools which has probably the most uninspiring GUI I have ever seen.


indeed - doesn’t look like the issue I pointed to. Never seen that with Waves (I use the SSL Bundle plus some single plugs pretty often). I’m pretty surprised by your report about Spectral, silhouette, don’t have problems with any Linplug software, except a crash in Pro 8 with Albino 3 that went away with their latest build.

Jalcide, I will keep an eye out for your report from the US guys. Looks more and more like a leak.
Feel free to PM me as well.

Actually that’s what Peter said. I was wondering if it was a side product of the vst menu issue. I have just set up a brand new computer so there is less risk of multiple over-installs and corruption creeping in. Funnily enough I spent a month or so last year testing Spectral on my last computer for Peter when there were issues with warning windows etc. That was sorted and it worked fine when I moved to 8.

Thanks for the thoughtful reply, Sil.

Yes, using VST3 with Waves (as it’s their only option). I did try both the VST2 and VST3 versions of Softube and it didn’t seem to make a difference.

All 64-bit, no J-Bridge. No 32-bit. That said, Fabio has suggested some seemingly 64-bit plugins could have 32-bit bits of architecture under the hood and could be the culprit. I would think latest versions of Software and Waves would not have this issue, but don’t know for sure.

The project is 9.5GB and I have 16GB. While it’s possible going to 32GB of ram could help, I’m doubtful. I run a very lean system, no background services, bloatware, etc. So that 6.5GB of free ram is probably enough.

Yeah, totally agree about “out of the frying pan and into the fire.” It’s why I’m considering just putting Waves, Softube and others on ice until hopefully some future version of Cubase (or the plugins) work reliably in this large template.

It’s just, it’s Waves … and … Softube. Nuff said. Painful decision time.

I’m glad this is just a hobby.

Thanks for staying on this, Fabio.

Btw, the memory utilization does seem to be pretty fixed at around 9 to 10GB. It doesn’t balloon beyond that, thus far. Of course once I’m able to move forward on this project and add more tracks, it will increase.

I only have maybe 12 more tracks to add, so it’s not an unreasonable amount left. 6.5GB of ram should be enough for it, I would think.

I’ll upgrade to 32GB if it looks like it’s going to get close.

I’ll keep editing that post above if I find any other plugins, or if they change or become random. For now, it seems repeatable (and therefore avoidable).

Just a thought. Try taking all the dll’s except Waves out of the vstplugins folder and try a project. See if the Waves stuff works any better. Repeat for the others Softtube etc. It might be that it is one plugin in the pack that is reacting. Is it all Waves plugins that are affected or all of them. Or it might be that there is another plugin from another vendor that reacts to the Waves stuff. A long shot!!!

Do you have both VST2 and VST3 installed. Try removing one of them.

You could try jBridging a 32 bit version??? (As a temporary measure.)

I hope that helps.

Thanks, Sil.

Some good ideas, but if I remove any plugins from the project, the problem goes away! So it’s not an informative test.

The problem is some kind of “artificial” resource barrier, somewhere.

Also, removing, say, the VST3 plugins from the VST folder would do nothing if I’m not using the plugin. That troubleshooting step only helps if either Cubase is having issue validating the plugin, or if it’s being used in the project.

32-bit J-Bridge. It’s not a bad idea. I did think of that. I’m just not sure I’m ready to take a step backwards in time like that.

And, I never even install the 32-bit version of plugins anymore. :smiley:

I think that’s a ship I’m going to have to let sail away.

Another thought. Have you checked that you have the latest graphics card drivers?

Funny thing is that I use Cable Guys Curve 2 and before I knew about the VSTi drop down menu bug I contacted them to tell them I had an issue. The weird thing is they thanked me for the info. I forgot about it and then I got an email with a free gift - another of their plugins. They asked me to download and try a new version of Curve 2 again - surprise surprise it worked properly.
I got me thinking that possibly many developers don’t always consider how the DAW changes with new versions. Perhaps it is not always clear cut with regard to whose fault it is. I don’t know what is going on behind the scenes, but are the developers hanging fire until the out come of the next update. I can’t believe that Slate or Waves would want to alienate all their Cubase customers by doing nothing.

whenever i start having similar issues, i would blame RAM usage getting too high. i’ve tried looking up which dll’s use up the most memory, and bridging those with jbridge as separate processes in memory, and i’ve had some success doing that…

Yes, latest drivers. It’s definitely part of the equation (and problem) with Waves.

There’s a known issue (officially from Waves) with post-March-2014 Nvidia drivers and a few onboard graphics chips from Intel that causes the so-called “white (or blank) gui” issue and/or extreme slowdown inside the DAW (all DAWs are affected when this happens).

So, one of the ways the problem happens, ironically, is by using latest drivers from Nvidia (but it has a workaround).

They have two workarounds, actually. One allows you to use latest drivers with something called the “no_context_sharing.txt” fix, the other workaround uses March 2014 drivers (the last drivers to not create the issue for those who would have the issue).

It manifests itself when using over, specifically 32, Waves plugins (this is official from Waves).

I had this issue, too, because I have a new, higher-end Nvidia card, had latest drivers, and indeed used more than 32 Waves plugins in my project.

I’ve tried both workarounds, with Waves support remoted-in. Both solutions worked.

I went with the “use latest Nvidia drivers” with Waves’ “no_context_sharing.txt” fix (you just create an empty txt file named “no_context_sharing.txt” in the root of the “c:\ProgramData\Waves Audio” folder. That flags Waves plugins to change how they use the video card and also lowers the framerate of meters on its plugins a bit.

Long answer, but I’m glad you asked, as I was going to post this info, anyway, to keep it all in one place here in this thread.

At this point, it would tempting to think, “oh, he’s just got a wonky system or something,” but Waves has assured me this isn’t the case. It’s a clean fresh Windows build with premium computer components. The fixable blank gui / DAW slowdown is a widespread issue (discussed at great length on various forums) that has been around since 2013 and Waves is officially, “still actively working to solve it properly in a way that doesn’t involve their little hotfix” (paraphrased, from the support rep I spoke with).

I will leave any conspiracy-theory-esque notions of Waves sitting on this fix, for so long, until their WUP-inducing 10.0 update is released, out of this thread (oops, did I just say that out loud, anyway?) :laughing: Kidding, I don’t really think that.

Oh, also another nugget to add (if it helps anyone else): The issue of plugins not opening when RAM usage gets high was also happening with this same large project when opened in Cubase 7.5.30 (from an 8.0.5 project).